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The Curse of Tippecanoe
The Curse of Tippecanoe
February 15, 2024

Mooncake Madness – A Review of Some Popular Mooncakes

Previously Published Sep. 22, 2022
Mooncake Madness - A Review of Some Popular Mooncakes
The Mid-Autumn festival is approaching! To celebrate this, we put together a guide for choosing which mooncakes to taste, as well as its origins.
 
Origins of the Midautumn Festival
The tragic love story of Chang’e and Hou Yi all began when 10 suns appeared on Earth. People fainted; crops dried up; plants withered; chaos ensued; and the Earth became unbearably hot. As the best archer of all time, Hou Yi was asked to shoot down the suns, and when Hou Yi drew back his bow and aimed up at the suns, nine of them fell from the sky almost instantly. After seeing this, the Jade Emperor was elated and, in return, rewarded Hou Yi the Elixir of Life, which has the effect of immortality. However, Hou Yi and Chang’e were madly in love (aka the lovey dovey couples) and Hou Yi refused to drink the Elixir of Life since he feared of leaving his dear, beloved wife. Through this accomplishment, Hou Yi quickly became famous and people came flooding in to be his apprentice and Meng Feng, one of the many, became greedy for the Elixir. One day, when Chang’e was home alone, Feng Meng demanded to have the Elixir of Life. Realizing that he was up to no good and with no choice left, Chang’e drank the Elixir herself. By the time Hou Yi came back, Chang’e rose up and floated away from Earth, ending up on the moon. Heartbroken, Hou Yi placed Chang’e’s favorite food under the moon as a way to honor his true love, which gives way to our modern celebration of the Mid-Autumn Festival. Having been passed down along countless generations, this created and gave rise to one of the most traditional Chinese pastries as a way of remembering Chang’e as more people followed suit with the worship of the moon.
 
Descriptions of 5 Well Known Mooncakes
The Red Bean Mooncake is one of the most loved mooncakes in China. Filled with a creamy sweet paste made with adzuki beans, it is easy to see why this classic is a favorite among many. If you’ve never tried mooncakes before, I would highly recommend this one, as it is easy to find, especially in Chinese markets during September.
Another popular mooncake in China is the salted egg yolk mooncake. This mooncake combines the sweetness of a mooncake skin with the saltiness of an egg yolk in a perfect ratio, the 2 flavors complementing one another. Fillings for this mooncake can vary depending on brand, but it is often a sweet filling such as lotus or red bean, allowing people to pick and choose depending on their personal preferences.
Originating from Suzhou, the minced pork mooncake is well received by many, especially those who prefer savory over sweet. In this mooncake, minced pork is wrapped around by a shell, then baked until crispy and delicious. This mooncake is also a traditional snack in Jiangsu, Zhejiang, and Shanghai regions.
Literally meaning 5 types of nuts, the Wuren mooncake is another popular mooncake in China. It is often filled with walnuts, sesame seeds, red bean, and other delicious delicacies. Due to it not being as sweet as other mooncakes, the Wuren mooncake is a healthier option and often beloved by the older generations.
The Flower cake is a relatively new mooncake, but has been widespread in recent years. The flowery filling gives this mooncake a fragrant and fresh taste, and the outside shell is flaky and crisp. There is an assortment of choices for the flower filling, the most popular ones being rose and osmanthus.
 
Top 10 Mooncakes List – A mix between an objective and subjective rating of 10 popular mooncakes
10. Snow Skin Mooncake – looks beautiful, but not a set taste or filling, and has to stay refrigerated,
Rating: 6/10
9. Green Tea Mooncake – healthy and unique, but not many people like green tea as a mooncake, I find it delicious though
Rating: 6.4/10
8. Fruits Mooncake – Lots of variety and isn’t as greasy, but sadly isn’t as well known
Rating: 7.3/10
7. Flower Cake – Fragrant and beautiful, unique look and taste, unfortunately some people may find eating flowers a bit weird
Rating: 7.5/10
6. White Lotus Mooncake: classic and sweet, but it can be a little too sweet depending on your taste,
Rating: 7.8/10
5. Wuren Mooncake: a surprisingly tasty combination of nuts and fruit in a mooncake, but those with nut allergies sadly aren’t able to enjoy this with us
Rating: 8/10
4. Minced Pork Mooncake: savory and crispy, the perfect combination of pastry and pork
Rating: 8.5/10
3. Date Mooncake: a staple mooncake, dates are the choice filling for many who enjoy mooncakes
Rating: 9.5/10
2. Salted Egg Mooncake: making a close second, salted egg mooncakes are the definition of the golden ratio (of sweet and salty), and my personal favorite
Rating: 9.8/10
1. Red Bean Mooncake: just because it’s a classic, doesn’t mean its overrated! Red Bean Mooncake takes first place as the King of Mooncake Maddness
Rating: 10/10
 
Now, a word from some BISV students:
“When I was younger my grandma always made moon cakes with me during the mid autumn festival, we always made the ones with date fillings and it was very good.” (Kathleen, ‘25)
“Mooncakes are great :)” (Barbie, ‘25)
“They’re round, except when they’re not… then they’re square!” (Antony, ‘25)
“They look yummier when they have a cool design.” (Alana, ‘25)
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About the Contributors
Caroline Chen, Features & Opinion Editor
Janelle Bai, Features Editor

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